Interior Highlights Fiscal Accountability in the Island Areas

Office of the Assistant Secretary

Insular and International Affairs

InteriorWASHINGTON – Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, applauded the success of the winter meeting of the Island Government Finance Officers Association (IGFOA), which convened in Honolulu, Hawaii from December 4 - 6, 2018. The IGFOA meets twice yearly to encourage finance officers from American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to discuss common challenges and share successful best practices in fiscal accountability and financial management.

“We continue to support the training of island government finance officers in best practices for fiscal accountability and financial management,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech. “Solid financial accountability is critical for any government in order to effectively manage public resources for the people they serve.”

Forty-three heads of finance and senior accounting officials from throughout the insular governments attended the winter meeting. Topics for the week concentrated on:

  • the outturn of FY17 single audits;
  • reviewing FY17 Performeter scores;
  • examining growing unfunded pension and social security liabilities in the insular areas;
  • managing procurement and installation of Federal Management Information Systems;
  • enhancing insular government finance office performance measures;
  • addressing cybersecurity issues; and
  • previewing forthcoming Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards pronouncements and their potential impacts on island governments.

At the conclusion of the meeting, representatives from each insular area presented an IGFOA Action Plan, which summarized commitments to continue implementing concepts presented at the conference. Such commitments include refinement of finance office performance measures, implementation of forthcoming GASB standards, development of Popular Annual Financial Reports, development of cybersecurity plans, and strategies to manage insular government debt.

The IGFOA will reconvene during the summer of 2019 in conjunction with the U.S.-based Government Finance Officers Association. The IGFOA meetings are organized by the Graduate School USA Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives, all funded through the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs Technical Assistance Program.

The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for coordinating federal policy with respect to the territories of the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and administering and overseeing U.S. federal assistance provided under the Compact of Free Association to the freely associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, executes these responsibilities, on behalf of the Secretary, through the Office of Insular Affairs whose mission is to foster economic opportunities, promote government efficiency, and improve the quality of life for the people of the insular areas.